I have to admit, I’ve been avoiding writing this End of 2009 newsletter article for at least a week. Is it me, or has New Years become the time to make yourself feel hopeful & guilty at the same time? Focusing on what you didn’t achieve that year & the things you want to fix for the next year (aka Why Your Suck) really makes you feel like a failure. Pair that with it being the end of a decade (a decade!) & your head might just spin right off your neck! Thankfully, the life coach in me told me to take the pressure off & forgo the craziness (& guilt! & feelings of failure!) solely for the celebration. That life coach is smart.
Are you putting the pressure on yourself to come up with the perfect New Year’s self-reflection? Then close your eyes (not until you’re done with this sentence though – it’s tough to read with your eyes closed), take a deep breath, & think about the thing that made you happiest this year. Now open your eyes & write it down – how it made you feel, how it looked & smelled & even tasted – so you can remember it a hundred years from now, & then do something to celebrate it. Anything. And if that’s all you do to ring in a new decade, then it’s damn good enough.
If you want to do more, though (I’ll admit it – I do), then here are my top life-coachy, creative suggestions:
- Set 1 word as your intention for 2010. My word for 2009 was “focus”, & it enabled me to learn how to uni-task, remain present with what I was doing, & even become slightly less ADD than usual. For 2010 my word will be “simplicity”, since I always tend to overcomplicate things for no discernable reason other than just being wired that way. It also feeds into my always-busy schedule & creeps into the time I spend with friends & family, yet doesn’t seem to add much value to any of these things.
- Choose 1 goal for 2010. Yup, just 1. If you’re having trouble figuring out which one, then write down all the goals that are rattling around in your head, & pick the one that you feel would make you the happiest. Then break down that goal within an inch of it’s life by listing all of the steps that you’ll need to take to get you to that goal, & don’t forget to write down a celebration task every 2-3 steps to keep you going. Don’t be tempted to do this with more than 1 goal until you reach this goal! Otherwise, that whole making-yourself-crazy thing is bound to take over. Trust me on this one (aka I’ve done it myself!). It might be tough to only allow yourself 1 goal, but fully focusing on that goal will not only give you better results in achieving it, but will also enable you to better enjoy the journey! Trust me on that one too (yup, I’ve done it myself!).
- Write a letter to yourself one year in the future, describing what happened to you in 2010. I totally stole this from Jess LC (we speak about it at length in the next Spring installment on intentions, up next week!) & honestly, it’s the only thing I’m carving out time to do on New Year’s Day. When looking back on it a year after Jess LC first wrote it, she realized that more than 80% of the stuff she wrote down actually happened! Isn’t this the bestest idea? It’s totally The Secret in action, minus the woo-woo stuff that makes me feel like a sucker for thinking there’s something valid in it.
- Write down everything you want to eliminate in your life in 2010. It could be a letter, a drawing, lyrics to a song or just a bulletpointed list, but get everything down. From “not putting myself first (or second or third or fourth)'” to “that positivity-sucking friend” or “watching Jersey Shore“. Then burn it. Or take a pen or knife or scissors & slash it up. Or spit on it & stomp it. Either way, get it out of your life in whatever violent way feels good for you. You might also want to do this to someone that hurt you this year. Not be violent to them personally, but to a letter you write to them. Please don’t tell anyone I told you to beat them up. That would be bad.
- Conversely, make a list of all of your accomplishments this year! How fun is that? And yes, give yourself the space to brag & embellish on how awesome you are. If this is a tough one, think of what you’ve done that you received thanks for, or got a compliment on. Even if it’s something as simple as “Got an awesome new haircut!” it totally counts!
- Commit to trying something new in 2010, & actually do it. Interested in a belly dancing class, or really want to join Creative Every Day? Take a look at the calendar & schedule it in, even if it won’t happen until next November.
No matter what, make sure you view 2010 as a fresh start, a clean slate or a new beginning. The whole decade is open to you – revel in it!
What are you planning to do to celebrate 2009 & ring in 2010? Please share it in the comment section – I’d love to hear all about it!